Crosby turns down WHA offer

Sidney Crosby has rejected a reported three-year, $7.5 million US offer from Hamilton's World Hockey Assocition franchise

Sidney Crosby has chosen skill development and a potential Canadian junior hockey championship over millions of dollars.

The teenage phenom has turned down a reported three-year, $7.5 million US offer from Mario Frankovich, the owner of Hamilton's World Hockey Association franchise.

Crosby's agent, Pat Brisson, on Wednesday told The Fan 590, a Toronto sports radio station, the five-foot-10-inch centre would prefer to spend a second season with the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League's Rimouski Oceanic in hopes of winning the Memorial Cup.

According to the Ottawa Sun, Crosby, 17, would have been guaranteed $2 million from Frankovich even if the fledgling league doesn't begin operation this season.

"It wasn't an easy decision and the offer was flattering," Crosby's father, Troy, told the Globe and Mail on Wednesday. "It was a lot of money. I realize some people might not understand why Sidney turned down the offer. But he has his mind made up right now about where he wants to play. He wants to stick with his plan of playing another year in Rimouski."

Crosby, the consensus No. 1 for next summer's NHL Entry Draft, led the QMJHL in 2003-04 with 54 goals and 135 points in 59 games. The native of Cole Harbour, N.S., also represented Canada at last year's world junior championship.

On July 18, the Toronto Toros selected Crosby with the first overall pick in the WHA Amateur Draft.

with files from Canadian Press